ALL MUSIC GUIDE - Denim - Denim on Ice

Denim is the project of Lawrence Hayward, formerly of the '80s jangly pop group Felt. Along with having a penchant for naming his bands after fabrics, Lawrence also has a tendency to write incredibly catchy, entertaining songs about seemingly nothing at all. Denim's 1992 self-titled debut album railed against the excesses of the '70s and '80s, and set Lawrence's tirades to a glittering glam-rock soundtrack. On Denim On Ice, he's still upset about pub rock and other more serious matters, but the music takes a new-wave turn, with prominent drum machines and synthesizers. Songs like "The Great Pub Rock Revival," "Shut Up Sidney" and "Silly Rabbit" mix Lawrence's goofy sense of humor with infectious hooks and melodies. Speedy, synth-heavy pop songs like "Romeo Jones Is in Love Again," "The Supermodels," and "Jane Suck Died in '77" are some of the album's highlights, as are the deeply cynical, funny and very British looks at everyday life in "Job Centre" and "Council Houses." Even the rare ballad on Denim On Ice like "Synthesisers in the Rain" and "Myriad of Hoops" crackles with Lawrence's dry wit. Though this import probably won't be released in the States, it's a must for Anglophiles and for anyone interested in some very personal, funny, offbeat music. Heather Phares